Referring to the influx of undocumented migrants Trump said during a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, that his administration is "now sending many of them to sanctuary cities. Thank you very much. They're not too happy about it. I’m proud to tell you that was actually my sick idea."
Back on April 12, Trump blurted out a new proposal for his immigration policy which would see a move of undocumented immigrants who are already in detention to the selected cities. Or a second variation which suggests directly transporting migrants who are apprehended at the Mexican border to the sanctuary cities.
The U.S. president said that the plan should make Democrats "very happy" since "the radical left always seems to have an open border, open arms policy." As a response, Democratic U.S. mayors from “sanctuary cities” said they would welcome undocumented migrants if needed, dismissing Trump’s bid to threat them into supporting stricter immigration policies.
In the U.S., cities are classified as “sanctuary” when the local authorities promote and adhere to protocols which protect immigrants from being handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation. Sanctuary city local authorities, such as San Francisco, New York City and Chicago, are typically led by Democrats.
"What did they say? 'We want them,'" Trump added on Sunday. "I said we’ll give em to you." The comments come after Trump said in a speech to the National Rifle Association that the U.S. was forced to release migrants and that it gave sanctuary cities "as many as they can handle," according to CNN.
However, the proposal has been highly criticized, even by ICE. The agency came forward to denounce the plan, calling it "inappropriate" and citing the "PR risks" that would come with its approval. Senior White House officials and immigration lawyers told Axios that ICE would not have enough funds for this and there would be major liabilities if anyone got hurt while being transferred.
Yet Trump’s latest comments would indicate that the plan of transferring migrants is already happening. The Department of Homeland Security has not made a formal announcement related to this or the President’s statement.